25 Mar Why Your Small Business Should Use Instagram and How
Instagram is a popular social networking channel that lets you share photos and 150-second videos. There are over 400 million users with more than 75 million people using the app daily. It is estimated that 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35, and the 16-24 age bracket makes up 41% of the user base.
All the content is displayed in a timeline-style format and posts you publish will be displayed to the people who follow you.
Small business and personal accounts function in the same manner and the simplicity of use is why Instagram has become such a popular platform.
Publishing videos and images on Instagram helps you expand your reach, build loyalty and connect with your clients/customers. The type of content you post will depend on the kind of business you run. This could be snippets of what’s happening behind the scenes, updates on what’s coming up, pictures of the office, birthdays etc.
The more authentic the posts, the more engagement you will get. Share pictures of your office space, employees, community events, celebrations like birthday or festivities. You can also use Instagram to post updates on new services or products, contests and so much more.
Getting the most from your Instagram account
Here are some tips on how you can use Instagram to benefit your small business or brand.
- Fill out your bio
Make sure that your bio is completed on your Instagram profile. Doing this ensures that people who want to connect with you have a clear understanding of what your business is and what services and products you offer. You should also include a link to your website or contact page.
- Connect to other social accounts
Link your Instagram account with your Facebook Business Page and your Twitter account to drive more traffic and get more followers. Any image or video you share on Instagram will automatically post to your linked accounts.
- Use filters and image editing apps
Since this app is primarily for images, you have to ensure that your images stand out from the rest. Instagram offers various filters that you can use to make your pictures look better. Apart from the regular Instagram filters you can use image editing apps like PicMonkey, Pixlr and Color Splash to get brighter, sharper images.
- Add text to your pictures
Memes get a lot of engagement on Instagram. You can use the same principle to create your own images combining graphics and text. You can also use a meme generator to research current trending memes and make your own memes that you can share.
- Use blue to get more likes
Research has shown that images that have blue as the dominant colour get 24% more likes than other colours. Blue seems to be the colour that attracts more attention so try and factor that in when posting images or creating memes.
- Post at peak times
Pay attention to the posts and times that garner the highest engagement. These would be posts that receive the highest likes and comments. Try and schedule your posts at the same times on the same days.
- Create your own Hashtags
When it comes to Instagram, the more hashtags the better! The hashtags you use make you more discoverable to those in your network. You can get creative and create your own hashtags that might be unique to your company or brand.
- Reward your followers
Use Instagram to announce a flash sale or a limited offer or you can even sporadically offer Instagram-only discount codes. This will ensure that your followers keep checking your account and don’t miss any of your updates.
Interacting with other users
There are several ways that you can interact with other users on Instagram and grow your followers.
Instagram allows you to add tags before you post an image or video. Just choose the ‘tag people’ option before sharing your photo. The app will prompt you to type in the name of the person you wish to tag. Once the image has been posted, the people in your newsfeed can tap on the photo to see who has been tagged.
Mentioning people on Instagram is similar to mentions on Twitter. You can use the @ symbol to tag other Instagram users in your comments or captions. If you want to reply to someone, you will need to tag them with an @mention or that user will not get a notification of the same.
Liking others’ photos or videos is one of the best ways to connect with other users. You just have to double tap the image or video or tap the heart button under the post to like it. You can also view the photos you’ve liked by going to your profile, pressing the gear button and selecting Posts You’ve Liked.
Another great way to connect with other users is to comment on their photos and videos. The comment button is located right next to the like button. You can comment on any images or videos that appear in your Instagram timeline.
- Direct messaging
Instagram users can communicate with each other privately through Instagram Direct. You can access this feature from the home page. It lets you send instant messages, photos and videos to other users.
Instagram is a great place to promote your small business and build your online brand. It also allows you to express your creativity and showcase your personality as an organisation.
If you are considering working from home and are interesting in setting up your own business, then you can join the Arise network. Arise provides a virtual platform to connect primarily work-at-home service professionals running small call centre businesses to Fortune 500 and other large companies. If you want to know more about Arise, you can get in touch with us here.